Saturday, August 19, 2006
Shakespeare is a drunken savage with some imagination whose plays please only in London and Canada.
--Francois-Marie Arouet Voltaire
There was at least one drunken bard roaming about in Tai's neighbourhood last night. Perhaps two or more.
I opened my eyes blearily at five minutes past three this morning and listened to the rich baritone voices echoing theatrically off the nearby eaves. The owners of the voices were quite obviously sodden with drink but nonetheless great long Shakespearean passages tumbled easily from their lips.
I reflected that if you had to have drunken people shouting in the streets below, it is better if they shout poetry rather than epithets, although of course the works of Shakespeare contain plenty of those too.
My friend had also woken up. "It's Hamlet", she said sleepily. "It's Hamlet talking to Ophelia...."
I didn't recognize the passage but continued to listen, hovering on the edge of sleep.
Then I heard in booming stage-tones something to the effect of : "Behold! A stone in my hand! shalt I throw it?"
I leapt out of bed and hurried to the window. I had no idea if that was a quote from Shakespeare but they better not be standing near my car if they were considering in verse whether or not to heave rocks at my car!
Alas, I couldn't see them. Whoever it was, they were invisibly projecting their voices mightily through the still summer air. I wondered briefly if they were stumbling about in doublet and hose, and then fell back to sleep.
Actually I'm off to the Shakespeare Festival this evening. But it started well and early for me today. Oh yeah, and Happy Birthday to me! :)